The word from abroad is that after his spell on loan finishes in the summer that Mikey Johnston is coming back to Celtic.
He started very well out there for his club Vitoria Guimaraes and, indeed, their manager rates him … but they aren’t going to try to keep him because they know it’s not possible.
He’s either too expensive or Ange wants him home.
Imagine that’s the case.
Imagine Ange Postecoglou has told this kid to come back when the loan spell is done. He does rate Mikey, he gave him a new deal before he went off to Portugal, in a move that surprised a lot of us but probably should have.
The Vitoria manager speaks highly of him, and the very traits he mentioned are the sort that Ange values most highly in his footballers.
“We have to enjoy him until the end of the season. He is a great player, an extraordinary professional who helps the group. Unfortunately, Vitória will not be able to keep him. As a manager, I have seen a very rare thing that we are not used to in football. When he is substituted, he apologizes for the performance when the game does not go well for him. ‘Sorry, this is not my football, I am very disappointed,” he said.
That’s interesting, right? Mikey always pushes himself to do more and be better.
Those are the things that would most endear him to a manager like Ange, that and the fact Mikey his definitely a player with a high skill set, maybe just not high enough at the current time to play for this club.
But in another three or four months? Who knows?
Ange sees a place for him, that much is almost certain.
But we have so many good players who can function out wide right now. As a squad player, yes, you can see Mikey filling a role but he will have to come back a pretty special footballer to be a regular.
That’s something else I expect all concerned know already, and if the kid thinks he’s ready for that and if Ange thinks he’s ready for that then we might just see the Mikey Johnston we always knew was in there and have been waiting to see emerge.